College Math Teaching

March 11, 2015

Old curmudgeon’s rant: non-seriousness of today’s textbooks

Filed under: academia, pedagogy — Tags: , — collegemathteaching @ 12:38 am

In our department we pass around the “business calculus” course; in a semester we are typically given one “less desirable” course (remedial, business calculus, baby-stats, math for poets or for middle school teachers), one “calculus/differential equations” and one “upper division/linear algebra” type course.

Regardless of level, I’d like to see my students take the course seriously.

So, I look at my “business calculus” text (which I played no role in choosing) and I see stuff like this:




Yes, every few pages, there is a photograph of some young person in business attire (sometimes holding a chart, sometimes not). Yes fans of PC-ness, young people of both sexes and several races are represented; there is even an old, gray person somewhere.

Please tell me what pedagogical purpose this serves.

I swear…our text books are looking more and more like fluff…every year.

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